Age: Three years.
Previous incarnation: Middlesex Hospital. The restaurant is part of the upscale Fitzroy Place development, recently built on the site of the defunct infirmary. History buffs should try and bag a table near the arched window offering a view inside the restored Grade I-listed chapel, all that remains of the former building.
Where exactly is it? Deep in the heart of Fitzrovia, the affable, walkable bit between the twin hurly-burly east-west arteries of Oxford Street and Euston Road.
Who’s behind it? The same team behind Granary Square’s popular pub The Lighterman. The concept is similar, with a menu focused on updated gastro faves such as decent burgers, roasts, pies and steaks from a wood-fired grill, to be enjoyed in a pub-luxe setting.
Ah yes, the interior: discuss. As with their King’s Cross outpost, the space housing P&F is a new build, meaning that the designers had an enviable blank canvas upon which to work their dreams for a reinvented urban pub. The result is safely swish: think deep shelves carefully scattered with books and framed art, oversized pots and vases brimming with cacti, topiary and decorative twig sprays are dotted about everywhere, and lively patterning and splashes of colour in further jaunty art on the walls. And the place is huge, meaning it has plentiful zones; the post-work cocktail crowd whooping it up on the open terrace having little impact on the couples engrossed in hushed conversations in the comfy drawing-room-style lounges.
What goes on there? An all-day venue that seemingly caters to all possible moods and guest configurations. Need a quiet corner for a client breakfast? Step this way. A private banquette for 50 people? Close that handy glass partition and hey presto, take your seats. We ended up postponing the journey home by way of a nightcap at the lengthy bar, and it felt like a completely different late-night location.
What should I eat? Standout starter on our recent visit saw slivers of seared beef fillet (£12) fanned out amongst juicy roast figs, punchy rocket and radish, dotted with toasted cashews. A Norfolk pork belly main (£20) was a classic lifted by al dente veg, but was trumped by the dumplings (£15), all creamy ricotta, sweet roast squash, courgette and sage. If you’re going the whole hog, a wedge of chocolate mousse proved uber-dense and so dangerously satisfying.
And what to drink? Cocktails are a big thing here: try one of the G&Ts featuring thyme or edible flowers to really give the booze botanicals some welly. All wines on the dinner menu can be served by the glass, carafe or bottle: curiously enough, a bottle of the house red (£23) arrives corkless (fine, so a that’s a big carafe then) yet the waitress still pours some for us to try before filling the glasses. A vaguely silly, ultimately pointless rigmarole.
What’s the service like? Other than the house wine showpiece, the staff are the right side of bubbly and efficient, appearing at all the correct times, and not overdoing the upselling tendencies. It’s a big bustling operation, yet manages to feel personal on account of having good people dashing about making everything happen.
Do say: “I know a great place for our office Christmas blowout.”
Don’t say: “Where’s Percy?”
Main image: Plush interiors, P&F